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Luke 11:33-12:7

The Inside of a Man

  • Rich Jones
  • Weekend Messages
  • July 15, 2012

After Jesus addressed the challenges of the Pharisees, He then turned His attention to the condition of the heart. And that's where we pick up our story today. Jesus is going to teach the crowd, and therefore us as well, about the importance and significance of what's happening on the inside of a man. This is an opportunity for us to look at the condition of our own hearts and to understand how important it is to God that what is happening in the heart is genuine and authentic revival.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

The Inside of a Man

Luke 11:33- 12:7 

In Luke 11, beginning in verse 33, we’re picking it up in the middle of a conversation that Jesus is having while He is on His way toward Jerusalem. If you remember the story from last week, Jesus had just cast out a demon and the multitudes marveled at the power of God moving through Him.

But that was when the Jewish leaders interjected themselves into the scene, and we know that their intent was to try to defame Jesus and draw the crowds away from Him.

When Jesus cast out the demon and the crowds were marveling, they jumped in quickly and said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons." In other words, they were accusing Jesus of moving in the power of Satan, knowing full well that He was moving in the power of God.

After Jesus addressed their challenges, He then turned His attention to the condition of the heart. And that's where we pick up our story today. Jesus is going to teach the crowd, and therefore us as well, about the importance and significance of what's happening on the inside of a man.

For example, Jesus said in verse 35, "Then watch out that the light in you may not be darkness." Then in verse 39 Jesus said, "The Pharisees clean the outside of the cup, but inside they are full of robbery and wickedness." Then in Luke 12:1 Jesus said, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."

This is an opportunity for us to look at the condition of our own hearts and to understand how important it is to God that what is happening in the heart is genuine and authentic revival.

I. Open the Eyes of Your Heart

  • Jesus was just talking about the fact that when the Queen of the South heard that God had spoken, she did something about it.
  • When the Ninevites heard a call to repentance, they did something about it. God is giving us His Word so that we will also do something about it.

A. Let there be light…from within

  • In verse 33, Jesus said, "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it under a bushel, but on the lamp stand, in order that those who enter may see the light."
  • Jesus is saying that when God is authentically moving in a person's life, it makes a difference in those around them.
  • The world is dark and getting darker and yet God is doing something about it. He is sending light into the world. How? He's transforming people from the inside out, one person at a time.
  • When the character of God is seen in us in genuine love, joy, kindness, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, etc. then God’s glory is making a difference.
  • Jesus is the light of the world, and because of His presence in our lives, God's glory is seen in us as well.

Matthew 5:16, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

  • Has God made a difference in your life? Then don't hide it; tell people about the difference that God has made in your life and it will make a difference in their life as well.
  • The purpose of light is to show the way out of the darkness.

Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.

  • Darkness is the same as blindness; truth is what opens people’s eyes – God’s word is a lamp that shines into the darkness so people can see.

Psalm 43:3, O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to Your dwelling places.

John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

B. Perspective is everything

  • In verse 34, Jesus continued, “The lamp of the body is the eye…” In other words, how do you see life? Your perspective, your view has everything to do with your heart.
  • Perhaps a modern illustration might be that people wear different classes by which they filter and interpret what happens in their lives.
  • In other words, it's not only what we see, but how we perceive what we see that make the difference between godliness and ungodliness, between light and darkness in our lives.
  • If the eyes are good, the whole person will be illuminated by the glory of that light.
  • It also has to do with what we are looking for, longing for, seeking after, and desiring in our lives, for that is what we will set our eyes toward.

Proverbs 2:1-11 Search for wisdom as for hidden treasures

II. Clean the Inside of the Cup

  • The Jewish leaders at that time were guided by what was called the "tradition of the elders," which they actually held in higher regard than the Word of God itself.
  • The history of this goes back to when Moses received the Law of God at Mount Sinai. Their tradition stated that Moses also passed on oral traditions not written down.
  • These oral traditions of the elders were later written into what is now called the Mishnah and Midrash.
  • A commentary on the Mishnah was later written which was called the Gemara and that was put together in what is called the Talmud.
  • The Talmud was made up of 22 volumes of 563 books, 65 pages addressed the issue of washing hands.
  • The problem was that they believed that the authority of the oral tradition was greater than the Word of God itself. In fact, Rabbi Eliezer, who lived in Jesus's time, said, "If anyone expounds the scripture in opposition to the tradition, they would have no place in the world to come.” In other words, they would forfeit heaven. 

A. God desires mercy more than sacrifice

  • The problem was that the Jewish leaders held these rules and traditions higher than they did the Word of God.
  • There's nothing even close to such requirements in the Word of God. They were heaping and adding great burdens on to people, but this wasn't what God wanted at all.

Proverbs 30:5-6, every word of God is tested … Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

Matthew 11:28, "Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

  • God’s heart is given to us in His Word and He gives it to us with His purpose – to build up, edify, seek the lost, bind up the broken…

Ezekiel 34:16, "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick;"

Luke 4:17-19 Jesus Himself shows us God's heart

B. True revival is a heart that truly lives

  • Jesus said the whole problem was their heart. They were hypocrites, actors, people who wear a mask. This is a great lesson for us as well. 
  • God had told them in advance in the book of Isaiah that what He wants is their heart, not their tradition.

Isaiah 29:13, Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…"

  • Why is God so concerned about the heart? Answer; because He knows that's the only way to transform a life.
  • Someone came to Jesus and asked which was the greatest of all commandments and Jesus responded…

Matthew 22:36-38, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.”

  • Love is transforming and is prophetic of our future, because we are becoming what we love.

Illus – A.W. Tozer wrote a masterful statement about the transforming power of love, “We are all in the process of becoming. We have already moved from what we were to what we are, and we are now moving toward what we will be. Not only are we in the process of becoming, we are becoming what we love. We are to a large degree, the sum of our loves; and we will of moral necessity grow into the image of what we love most; for love is among other things, a creative affinity. It changes and molds and shapes and transforms.

What we love is therefore not a small matter; it is of critical and everlasting importance. It is prophetic of our future. It tells us what we shall be, and so predicts our eternal destiny. Loving wrong things is fatal to spiritual growth; it twists and deforms the life and makes impossible the appearing of the image of Christ in the soul. Love is within our power of choice, true spiritual love begins in the will. We should set our hearts to love God supremely and joy is sure to follow.

C. We live by that which fills the heart

  • In Luke 12:1 and following, Jesus warned about the dangers of living with darkness in the heart.
  • It's not what you eat or how you wash your hands, it's what comes out of your mouth, in other words, it's how you live your life and comes out of the heart.

Luke 6:45, "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills the heart."

  • We need to pour the Word of God into our heart and have it be written on our heart.

Psalm 119:11, Your Word have I treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.

Proverbs 3:3-4, Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find a favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Illus – Let’s say that we want to honor God by giving grace to those around us.

Ephesians 4:29, Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

  • The only way to truly fulfill that scripture is by being gracious in the heart, to think gracious thoughts, and then you become a gracious person.

But sometimes this requires us to be offended

  • Verse 45 is classic; a lawyer said, "Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too."
  • Don't you want to respond, "No kidding." But they needed to be offended.
  • Sometimes the only way we change is when God gets our attention, shakes up our world, and throws a bit of cold water in our face.
  • In another place He said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up."
  • Notice that phrase, "Rooted up.” 

Illus - if you just take the tops off of weeds, they'll soon come back again. Jesus wants to get to the root, in other words, to the heart of that which needs to change in our lives.

Ezekiel 36:26, "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

Illus - I remember hearing the story of an eight-year-old boy who had a congenital heart problem and needed a transplant. It so happened that in the same hospital was a teenager who had suffered a tragic car accident…

Luke 11:33-12:7   NASB

Chapter 11

33 "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays."
 
37 Now when He had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch with him; and He went in, and reclined at the table. 38 When the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal. 39 But the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. 40 You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?41 But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.
 
42 "But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places. 44 Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it."
 
45 One of the lawyers said to Him in reply, "Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too." 46 But He said, "Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. 48 So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.' 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering." 53 When He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question Him closely on many subjects, 54 plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say.

Chapter 12

1 Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all,"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 3 Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.
 
4 "I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

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